Book contract

June 30, 2010

I just did something very cool. I…wait for it…filled out a book publishing contract.

Hurray!

All the progress has made me pause to consider where, when, how, and why it all began. Here’s a story to explain…

Coming Home

I was raised on prairie sunshine. Our community highly valued good hard work. Our men tolled for years over rocked filled land in an unforgiving climate — too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. Our women minded the house, tended the kids and worked beside their men come haying time. There were few leisure activities. Art and Artists were foreign concepts to us.

I felt like a fish in the hayfield. It seemed I always had my head in the clouds. Dreams were what filled my life. Art and artists were the stuff of these dreams. Yet, I came as close to this world as my TV screen. One day my dad pointed out a local farmer and identified him with a new word writer  — I was intrigued.

Years passed and this hayseed was blown far from home. When I settled I found myself on a tiny island. Strangely it felt more like home than any place I’d ever been. The islanders identified me as one of their own.

“You are an artist,” they proclaimed.

“Who me? No, I just like to scribble,” I whispered.

“No, you are a writer,” they announced.

And I knew I was home.

K, please don’t get annoyed. I know I should have told you about this sooner. I know..

I know it doesn’t help for me to say that I had a great time. Even though it was cold — that’s what husbands are for. So, I snuggled up close and it helped.

I know it doesn’t help for me to tell you that changes are that it will be on again next year. Fingers crossed.

I know all of this doesn’t help. All I ask is for your forgiveness.

Here’s some more info…

http://campbellbaymusicfest.com/index.html

I know it doesn’t help…sorry.

An offer

June 25, 2010

“Hi,” I say. There is a broad smile on my face.

“What’s up?” you ask.

“Today I received an offer from a publishing house.”

“Congratulations, for which book?”

“For my paranormal psychological thriller THE SWEATER CURSE.”

“Oh, I love that book.”

“You remember it?”

“Of course, the birth, life, death and possible redemption of an artist.”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

“It’s the possible redemption that caught me. I love the first two paragraphs. Thank you for letting me be one of your beta readers.”

“No, problem. You helped me a lot with it.”

“What are you going to do today?”

“Dream.”

“Of?”

“Ways to advertise my new book…You Tube…blog tours…interviews…I can’t wait to continue this journey.”

“Don’t forget to embrace the moment — live in the now.”

“Thank you for the reminder, my friend. I will.”

Visit me:  www.oknitting.com

I’m with the drummer

June 23, 2010

Recently, my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and my husband entertained friends and neighbours. The concrete was at the Agricultural Society Hall (affectionately known as the Ag Hall) on Mayne Island. And it fulfilled more than one person’s fantasies. Here, allow me to explain with a story.

Nervous but ready my husband stands behind his drum kit. My brother-in-law is seen on stage without his guitar — a rare sighting.

My story:  YOU CALL THAT MUSIC

Growing up, my family was divided musically. My youngest brother and I loved rock. We thrilled at the squeal of the electric guitar. We lost our souls to the solid drumbeat. I gleefully danced wildly to my favourite group. I practiced belting out the latest songs in front of the mirror, hairbrush mic in hand. I dreamed of dating a rock star.

The older, sadder, squarer family members listened to country. Do you believe it? Country. They were a lost cause.

I have remained faithful to rock for most of my life.

Then, however, I met a man. I fell in love. In his music collection I found not only rock but also jazz and even, I hate to admit it, country. How could this be? Surely it had only been a momentary lapse.

Then on my wedding day I was confronted by the truth. I was told plainly that if I wished to be a full-fledged member of my new clan I had to earn to enjoy Bluegrass.

Bluegrass — what was that?

The family decided that I had to be properly introduced. What better place then across the border in Tacoma, Washington at Wintergrass. It was to be a three-day introduction presided over by no other than the father of Bluegrass music himself:  Bill Munroe.

The father of Bluegrass music must be old than dirt, I reasoned.

My speculation was confirmed when Bill appeared on stage. He was a wizened, tired, old man. I was surprised that he hadn’t been wheeled onto the stage. He looked so fragile clutching his mandolin.

To his credit, he made it safely through the first couple of tunes. Then he appeared to keel over.

Was he clutching his chest?

We, in the audience, uttered a collective moan.

Our concerns were voiced in the words of one of the younger band members. “Is Bill alright?” He asked a senior member of the group.

“Bill, sure. He’s just getting, down.” We were told.

On clue, Bill showed exactly why this was his music. His hand moved at lightning speed over the strings.

The sweet sound he and his band produced stole my heart. It awoke in me a long dormant love for who I was and where I had come from. It spoke to me proudly of rural dirt roads, the smell of fresh-cut hay, and caring for your neighbour.

Last Friday night did I not only go home with the drummer but I also swung my partner to the sweet down-home lonesome sound of Bluegrass. All that on Mayne Island.

Say hi and howdy to my brother-in-law T.D. Christopher here:  www.myspace.com/mylittlerodeo

Visit me:  www.oknitting.com

Watch the master, Bill Munro (and his friends) — here:  http://videos.wittysparks.com/id/3860528240/

Though it is overcast and chilly, today is the first day of summer.  Two fawns have been frolicking, enjoying the day. While their mother lurks near by.  There is a prohibition against firearms on the island — so, she knows her babies are safe.

I apologize for the poor picture. If I had cropped it so only one fawn was in the shot it would have been better but I wanted you to see both babies.

Happy Father’s day

June 20, 2010

Father’s day brings with it a mixture of joy and pain. Joy in the memories — pain in the lose. My dad passed away about ten years ago.

On this day, thoughts of my relationship with my dad overwhelmed me. How I think about him changed a lot over the years.

When I was a child my dad was a superhero.

When I was a teen my dad was a tyrant.

Now, the older I grow the more saintly my dad becomes.

Mostly, I think how fortunate I was to be his daughter.

 To read more of my writing, please visit:  www.oknitting.com

Okay, to be clear, I’m not talking about writer’s  block. I’m not talking about the inability to pick up that pen or bang on that keyboard.

What I’m talking about is writer’s pause.

Never heard of it?

I’m not surprised. I just coined the phrase.

I think it apply describes what I’ve occasionally had to deal with so far in my writing career.

I’ll explain, I’m working on a story. Say, for example, my latest project — a Young Adult novel. Its been a pleasure working on this project. Chapter after chapter came fluently. Until that is I hit chapter five.

What happened?

Well, I think I became intimidated with the weight of the project. The result was that no more words came.

My first response was to panic.

Oh, no, I thought, I’ll never write again.

Which is a healthy response to this dire situation. : )

Then I started work on one of my other projects. That’s why its best that I have more than one project on the stove. The prefect number of projects for me to be working on at once seems to be three.

They battle it out for my attention. (It’s not hard for me to personify anything — pens, tacks, writing projects.)

When my YA decided to speak. I allowed it to take me wherever it wanted to go. So, currently, I haven’t been writing chapters but rather pieces of random chapters.

Yeah, at least the words are coming. That’s all I ask, pled for.

Hey, got sometime, way not visit me:  www.oknitting.com

Give and take

June 17, 2010

The good news:  today I found a new publisher. Thanks to my Romance Angel Network friends. I searched my files and found a suitable manuscript. I tidied it up, wrote an email, attached the file and sent it away into cyberspace. Wish me luck.

The bad news:  Today I received another rejection email for one of my manuscripts.

I’m still playing the game. Batter up. Swing, batter, batter, swing.

Cheer me on. Visit:  www.oknitting.com

Good Reads

June 16, 2010

Are you familiar with the Good Read (www.goodreads.com) website?

I joined maybe a month ago. I find it so interesting to discover what my friends are reading. It gives me many good ideas for books to add to my library.

So, as well as working on a new Young Adult manuscript I’m also working on adding my best reads to my book page.

I look forward to seeing on Good Reads or at www.oknitting.com

Monday, June 7th I packed my big blue suitcase. I stuffed it with my knitting, my NOVELTY YARN audiobook and with MAYNELY A MYSTERY. Then I walked down to the ferry terminal. It’s a short walk. Once there I had a pleasant wait in the beautiful gardens.
I knit and read a writer’s magazine while I rode to Salt Spring Island. I had a nice visit with my Salt Spring Island aunt. Then on Tuesday, June 8th I delivered my inventory to Mahon Hall.
Each summer Mahon Hall magically transforms into ArtCraft gallery.
ArtCraft gallery opens this friday — June 18th.
Paintings, jewelry, cards, books, clothing…many treasures wait your shopping pleasure.
Visit me:  www.oknitting.com